Tuesday, September 9, 2014
► In today’s Columbian — Longshore union touts ‘superior’ grain pact — The question of who got the upper hand — labor or management — in a recent contract agreement that ended two years of strife between union dockworkers and grain export terminal operators may never be fully answered. However, the ILWU said Monday the contract it signed with the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association — which includes United Grain Corp. at the Port of Vancouver — is “significantly different from, and superior to” the more employer-friendly accord it signed in early 2012 with Export Grain Terminal in Longview.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Ryanair makes big order for 737 MAX jets that can carry 200 — The low-cost Irish airline will take a new version of the 737 MAX, with no food-prep galleys and narrower seats, configured to fit up to 200 passengers. One aerospace analyst says airlines will use Boeing’s new plane to attract that “segment of the market that is willing to put up with anything to pay the lowest possible fare.”
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Cathy McMorris Rodgers ex-aide claims retaliation — A former aide to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers contends an ethics investigation into her campaign for a House leadership post is ramping up with allegations that she retaliated against him.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Ex-aide accuses McMorris Rodgers, staff of possibly lying, and smearing him — Breaking a six-month silence, a former aide who was fingered for allegedly filing an ethics complaint against U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers lashed out Monday, accusing the Spokane Republican and her staff of falsely smearing his name and possibly lying to congressional investigators.
► In today’s News Tribune — When a ‘contractor’ is really a cheated employee (editorial) — “Worker misclassification” is a dry term that smacks of paperwork mistakes and picayune regulations. But as a multi-state McClatchy Newspaper investigation has revealed, it’s often a deliberate scheme to cheat laborers out of wages and defraud the public. The construction industry is rife with misclassification and other abusive practices. It costs states and the U.S. government billions of dollars in revenues; it preys on workers and can leaves them with no medical coverage when they are injured on the job.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — State Employment Security to eliminate 149 positions — The state Employment Security Department will eliminate about 149 positions statewide next month due to budget cuts, including 11 in the south-central region. Employees currently in the eliminated positions were notified last month of the possibility of being laid off.
► In today’s Olympian — DSHS secretary says agency running $25M short “besides the courts'” $30M mental health mandate — Social and Health Services Secretary Kevin Quigley says calls are up by 10 to 15 percent to Child Protective Services hotlines, and costs also are running higher than budgeted in welfare-related programs.
► At Huffington Post — White House sets another deadline for immigration action — After delaying executive action on immigration for a second time, the White House imposed a new deadline on Monday, promising to make changes by the end of the year. For immigration reform advocates, the promise of action by year’s end is met with a huge heaping of skepticism, as the administration has pushed back its self-imposed deadlines before.
ALSO at The Stand — Obama should act on immigration reform (by Richard Trumka)
► In the New Republic — While Obama waits, thousands more deportations likely — Two months after President Obama promised to take executive action on immigration reform, White House officials have announced that Obama will delay his action until after November Senate elections. The math works out to roughly 1,010 deportations a day (occurred last year) and there are two months to go until Election Day. If the rate stays the same, another 60,060 deportations would take place in that time.
► At Think Progress — America’s business elites admit they’d rather hire robots than people — Corporate boards lavish them with massive pay packages and politicians venerate them as “job creators.” But it turns out that America’s business chieftains would rather not create full-time jobs to do what needs doing if they can possibly avoid it, according to the latest annual survey from the Harvard Business School (HBS). About 46 percent of HBS alumni say their firms would rather invest in technology to fill their labor needs than hire humans, compared to just 26 percent who disagree with that sentiment.
► In today’s NY Times — Lew says administration nearing decision on curbing corporate expatriates — Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said on Monday that he would decide “in the very near future” what regulatory action the Obama administration can take — given the partisan paralysis in Congress — to close some tax loopholes and reduce incentives for multinational corporations to avoid United States taxes by incorporating in other countries.
► In today’s NY Times — Inversion delusion (by Joe Nocera) — The argument is bogus that corporations leave the U.S. and set up overseas because of high corporate tax rates.
► On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight , John Oliver takes on the issues of student debt — and for-profit colleges. Check out the clip of the former recruiter who describes their instructions to hit “pain points” — or hardships faced by people — to try to coerce them into signing up at for-profit colleges.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.